Be Knowledgeable About Rosacea

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood disorder of the facial skin that is estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans. Let clients and patients know that any one of the following warning signs is a signal to see a dermatologist or other knowledgeable physician for diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment before the signs and symptoms become increasingly severe: redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead; small, visible blood vessels on the face; bumps or pimples on the face; and watery or irritated eyes.

Characterized by relapses and remissions, rosacea typically begins as a redness or flushing on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Throughout time, the redness becomes ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear.

This condition, known as Subtype 1 rosacea, often occurs before or at the same time as Subtype 2 rosacea, which includes facial redness with bumps and pimples if left untreated. In severe cases the skin may become swollen and bumpy, especially around the nose, a condition known as Subtype 3 rosacea, or rhinophyma.

In many rosacea-sufferers, the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot. Without proper care, this condition, known as Subtype 4, or ocular rosacea, can lead to further irritation and, in severe cases, reduction of vision.

To help attract prospective clients with rosacea, let them know you are knowledgeable about rosacea and the special need for extra-gentle care. Individuals with rosacea often have very sensitive skin and also tend to flush. In a survey of 1,289 rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society, 63% said they had suffered from frequent flushing, 51% had experienced facial burning or stinging, and facial itching was experienced by 41%. Thus, it is key to stay away from irritating ingredients that may cause stinging or flushing, such as alcohol, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, witch hazel or certain fragrances. Likewise, avoid procedures that heat or peel the skin; for example, steaming the face, using hot towels or hot wax, skin peels or exfoliating the skin with coarse cleansers.

When performed properly and with appropriate care and skin care products, a facial can be relaxing for many rosacea patients.

—From the National Rosacea Societyp>